[Interview] Kashyap Dalal on Simplilearn's social media strategy

Social Samosa
New Update
From marketing to creating brand evangelists, social media has come a long way! Kashyap Dalal, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Simplilearn takes us through their social media journey since the company started off as a budding start-up.

During the initial stages, how did you use social media to establish Simplilearn as a brand?

For any brand, and especially an education brand, word of mouth is extremely critical. We are in an age where people are increasingly skeptical about marketing messages and trust their social circle much more. For Simplilearn, social media has played a very critical role right from the start. All through our journey, we have seen 35% of our customer acquisition happening through referrals. For a fast growing education brand, this is extremely important. Social media has helped us drive this. We have used Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the social channels of choice. These platforms have helped us as our customers have shared about their good experiences in their circle. We have also used these platforms to share high-quality relevant content with our followers.

Share 5 social media growth hacking tips that helped Simplilearn in marketing on social media? 

The first and most critical growth hacking tip for social media success is a fanatical focus on customer satisfaction. We have a very strong focus on our NPS scores which are indicators of customer satisfaction. This helps us deliver a good experience, leading to positive sharing on social channels. Everything else you do on social is moot if you don’t have happy customers to spread the word for you.

The second is high quality content. People follow you on social because they like what you share. Social media will not work unless you can share quality relevant content with your followers.

A third growth hack is using different content types wisely. For example, in recent times videos is a sure shot way to get better results on Facebook. Similarly, infographics are the way to go on LinkedIn. Both result in much higher CTRs than average campaigns.

How would you explain your social media measurement metrics? What are the key elements that define social media success for you?

The 2 most critical metrics I would look for to analyze how social is working are the CTRs of the content that you post and the engagement levels (shares, likes). A third qualitative metric is brand relevance. Brand relevance needs to make sure that while chasing CTRs and engagement levels, you continue to remain focused on what your brand does and not get into tangents. For example, sharing jokes or cartoons will invariably get you a lot of likes/shares etc., however, such things don’t add into the brand and even though CTRs and engagement metrics would look good, such presence would not do any good for the brand.

The importance of a Social CEO/CMO is more than ever now. How do you make sure your key management is involved in active ORM & CRM through social media?

This is a great question. This is a challenge that we face like many other companies and I don’t claim to have solved it perfectly. One of the things we have done is to setup a “Voice of Customer” cell. There is a team that keeps searching for any escalations or negative news about the brand. All such cases are shared in a weekly digest which goes to all members of the leadership team. It helps greatly in knowing the kind of issues that our customers are facing and in many cases we find ways to make our offering better from such cases. Similarly it helps to setup a daily digest of all positive mentions and shares about the company.

How does influencer marketing work in the edtech segment? Have you done any social media campaigns yet?

For us the biggest influencers are our customers, our curriculum advisors and our faculty. We engage with all of them to keep them updated about the various initiatives we are taking to deliver more benefit to everyone in this ecosystem and it benefits us significantly as many of them decide to talk about us on social channels if we have done well on something.

This apart, we do use influencer marketing in the normal sense of the term. This is mainly through engaging with the right influencers on Twitter. However, the most critical thing on social media is that you will get the benefit if you are doing something genuinely interesting. It is very difficult to leverage social channels without any real news. Rather than worrying about social media campaigns, we prefer spending more time on initiatives that are exciting, add value to our customers and are new ways of solving old problems in the industry. More often than not these initiatives also help us get influencers on board as well as get our customers and other stake holders to talk about us.


Social media social media strategy Social Media Marketing Social Media Tool Social Media Interview crm startup ORM simplilearn airtel social media strategy social media startup startup interview social media growth social CEO